Landlord Tenant Litigation

Long Island Landlord Tenant Dispute Attorneys

Landlord-tenant disputes can occur over a wide variety of issues, from failure to pay rent to failure to maintain the property in habitable condition. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, these issues can be a huge stressor. Often though, these disputes can be settled amicably with a negotiated compromise, either independently or with the assistance of an experienced New York landlord-tenant lawyer. Other times, the dispute is unsettled and a party must commence a lawsuit in order to seek resolution.

landlord and tenant in Long Island

The experienced real estate attorneys at Roman & Piccinnini will aggressively pursue a resolution and fight for your rights regardless of whether you are the defendant or the plaintiff, the landlord or the tenant. Our experience on both sides of the table will stand you in good stead because our dual perspective allows us to choose precisely which strategies will work best. We are adept at litigating disputes involving:

  • Termination and eviction
  • Foreclosure
  • Lease terms
  • Right to withhold rent
  • Security deposit limits and returns
  • Rent control and stabilization
  • Landlord access to rental property
  • Tenant protection against retaliation
  • Protections for tenants who are victims of domestic violence
  • Abandoned property left behind by tenants
  • Fair housing rights and discrimination
  • Health and safety standards

Types of Landlord-Tenant Disputes in Long Island

Termination, Evictions and Abandoned Property

Tenants and landlords alike are often mistaken as to the process for evicting a tenant. It is not as simple as posting a sign or telling someone to get out. Eviction is a formal process that requires official service of notice to the tenant, who then has the right to contest the eviction in Housing Court.

If a tenant has failed to pay rent or is holding over on a lease, we can assist landlords in achieving a successful eviction. If a tenant is not paying because the landlord has not kept the property in habitable condition, or has otherwise failed to uphold their responsibilities under the lease agreement, our attorneys can help tenants fight the eviction.

Lease Disputes/Security Deposits

Ideally, every lease contains every provision necessary to govern the relationship between a landlord and tenant, with 20/20 foresight into any potential disputes that might arise. Often times though, even the most comprehensive agreement fails to address every contingency and disputes arise despite your best efforts.

Landlord –tenant relations are often most contentious when the time comes for a tenant to move out. The tenant usually expects a full return on the deposit, while the landlord is focused on returning the property to the condition it was prior to the lease. Landlords are entitled to keep all or a portion of the deposit to repair damages, account for unpaid rent or to address other breaches in the lease agreement.

Right to Withhold Rent/Health & Safety Standards

Both the lease agreement and state and federal laws provide tenants with certain rights. For example, if a domicile is not maintained in a manner suitable for habitation, a tenant may be entitled to withhold rent until such time as the home has been made habitable.

Rent Control & Stabilization

New York residential property is one of the most regulated in the country. Many New York apartments are rent controlled or rent-stabilized. Tenants of these properties are considered a protected class and are endowed with certain rights that affect rent increases and eviction. Both landlords and tenants are wise to consult with local laws regarding security deposit limits.

Landlord Access to Rental Property

Landlords have the right to access their properties for purposes of emergency, inspection, repair, and maintenance. However, these rights must be balanced with tenants’ rights of privacy and enjoyment of the space. Landlord entry on the premises is often governed by the terms of the lease, but legally, a landlord must provide reasonable notice to the tenant before entering.

Tenant Protection Against Retaliation

Landlords are prohibited from terminating or refusing to renew a lease to tenants who have filed an official complaint to a government agency, become involved in a tenant’s organization, or have asserted a legal right against the landlord. Retaliation by landlord is assumed if negative action is taken on the tenant within a six-month period of any of the prior tenant actions.

Protections For Tenants Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence

Any tenant that is under the protection of a court order is legally permitted to terminate a lease with 10-days notice without further obligation.

Fair Housing Rights and Discrimination

New York law prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, military status, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity. Landlords are therefore, prohibited from discriminating against anyone exhibiting these protective characteristics. Proving discrimination can be difficult, as can proving discrimination was not present.

Landlord Tenant Disputes Can Be Complex

Landlord-tenant disputes can invoke a broad range of legal issues governed by laws and regulations on many levels. In a number of cases, federal laws as well as New York State laws may apply. For example, federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have regulations pertaining to environmental health hazards, such as lead-based paint. On the other hand, local laws that govern noise and nuisance may also apply. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, having the assistance of a real estate lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of all of the laws that come into play will serve you well.

How Roman & Piccinnini Can Help

Our practice is structured to aid you with any type of real estate litigation. We pride ourselves on tailoring our strategies to your individual needs. Whether your situation calls for negotiation or litigation, we are dedicated to being proactive in the fight to protect your rights. Our attorneys are renowned not only for their strength, but for their successful, innovative strategies. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Roman & Piccinnini, PLLC serves clients throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, The Hamptons, and New York City.